Pam Boyd

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January 30, 2013
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Beaver Creek booty

The reality of life is that "Everybody Wins" scenarios seldom exist outside of T-ball games or soccer contests for 4-year-olds.

The exception to that rule will happen Saturday, Feb. 16, when Habitat for Humanity of Eagle and Lake Counties hosts one of its famed Best of the Best Sale events in Edwards. The event will feature furnishings - everything from a baby grand piano to assorted items of glassware - from an eight-bedroom home in Beaver Creek. According to Tom McKay, manager of Habitat's Restore in Eagle, the event demonstrates not only a shopper's dream, but also what is best about donating to the charity.

"Typically, people will donate because it's Habitat and it's a great cause and they are financially able to do so. But it is also a huge financial benefit for those who can make big donations," McKay said.

The Beaver Creek donation - the single largest home donation the local Habitat outlet has ever seen - is an example of how a large donation can actually be a financial boon to the donors, according to McKay. He said the winning formula came about through a combination of generosity and some Habitat awareness on the part of local professionals.

McKay said real estate agent David McHugh of Slifer Smith and Frampton, and interior designer Lauren Hopkins (McKay refers to her as a referral goddess) were key players in the deal. When the new owners of the large Beaver Creek home decided the furnishings, appliances and cabinetry of the home didn't fit their personal style, the local pros were able to suggest a Habitat donation that would net the owners a tax break. In the end, the owners were able to benefit financially from their generous donation while they also received a benefit by way of convenience. The Habitat crew was able to descend on the house with its workers and truck, and clear out the furniture and furnishings in quick order, making way for the blank palette where the new owners will sketch out their dream home.

"This is the epitome of the donation opportunities for someone who wants to be generous and not lose out from a financial standpoint," said McKay.

Then the generosity kept flowing. Remanov and Company donated commercial space in Edwards for the Best of the Best sale and Habitat has been able to move the furnishings into that space, price the items and prepare for the Feb. 16 event.

"Volunteers from the Habitat Restore in Eagle have set up displays for the donations and the sale will feature extremely discounted prices," said McKay

What this means for the bottom line is that the donation will end up paying for approximately one-fifth of the costs associated with building a Habitat house. McKay hopes to clear between $15,000 and $25,000 on sale day - a figure that is possible because of the organization's low overhead.

"Basically, the sale is run by volunteers, minus the salaries for my muscle men," he said. "You do need some paid staff because baby grand pianos do not move themselves."

The Habitat Restore in Eagle has six full-time employees to help with donation collection, deliveries and retail sales. McKay said those salaries represent another way Habitat is giving back to the community by providing employment to locals.

Once the heavy lifting is done and the pricing and merchandising is complete, the hard work associated with a Habitats Best of the Best results in a lot of fun.

"It's a blast at these sales," said McKay. "We usually sell about 85 percent of the items within the first couple of hours and then during the last hour, we mark everything down another 30 percent. There's never a lot left."

At a typical Best of the Best sale, there is anywhere from 70 to 80 people waiting for the doors to open. McKay believes that tradition will hold true for the Feb. 16 event.

"There really is something for everyone - beds, chandeliers, area rugs, antiques, knickknacks - you name it," said McKay.

Building materials from the home - cabinets and carpet and the like - will be sold from the Habitat Restore in Eagle.

For interested shoppers who want a sale preview, McKay suggested visiting or liking "Habitat Vail Valley" on Facebook. For specific questions, call the Restore at 970-328-1119 and mark Saturday, Feb. 16, on the calendar.

"This one day will help out so many people," McKay promised.

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The VailDaily Updated Jan 30, 2013 12:45PM Published Jan 30, 2013 12:42PM Copyright 2013 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.